Bits for Sunday Feb. 10, 2013
Steve West to be inducted into East Tennessee Business Hall of Fame
Steve West will be inducted into the East Tennessee Business Hall of Fame Thursday, April 11, when the organization marks its 25th anniversary in Knoxville.
Well known for his leadership in numerous worthwhile Blount County efforts, he is chairman of West Chevrolet and West Properties, LLC, part of a family involvement in the automobile business that dates back to his grandfather, Eckles, and included his father, Charles, and now his son, Charles.
Steve has served as Maryville mayor, in 1988 was named Southern Industrial Development Council Volunteer of the year, and in 1993, Time magazine named him Auto Dealer of the Year in Tennessee. Other places of leadership include Blount County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Industrial Development Board, Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Automotive Association, in 1998 was named a National Daily Point of Light winner and won the Chevrolet Motor division Silver Anniversary Award.
A graduate of Leadership Blount, he has been a member of UT Chancellor Associates and the state of Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission. He is a member of The Daily Times Wall of Fame which recognizes outstanding graduates of local public high schools.
He and his wife, Ruth, have two sons, Charles and Russ.
Two others to be inducted are Joseph A. Hollingsworth Jr., owner and CEO of Hollingsworth Companies, and posthumously to Jim R. Shelby, business and financial analyst.
Kellie Martin’s role as ‘Christy’ recalled in highly popular CBS series filmed here
For the benefit of newcomers and those who still long for more of the a “Christy” series which CBS filmed in Townsend and telecast in 1994-95, I recently came across a DVD of a movie which Kellie Martin made about the same time. Entitled “Hidden in Silence,” Kellie has the lead role.
Others in the cast are Marion Ross, Joss Ackland and Tom Radcliff. A true story, the setting is Przemysl, Poland, during World War II. Germany had emerged victorious over the Russians, and the city was under Nazi control. The Jewish are sent to the ghettos. While some stood silent, Catholic teenager Stefania Podgorska, portrayed by Kellie as Fusia, chooses the role of a savior.
She sneaks 13 Jews into her attic. Every day she risks detection — and immediate execution — by smuggling food and water to the silent group living above her. When two German nurses are assigned to her living quarters, the chances of discovery become dangerously high. It is a true story of a young woman’s selfless commitment and unwavering resolve in the face of war.
Kellie and Christy cast members Tyne Daily, Stewart Finlay-McLennan, LeVar Burton, Tess Harper and Blount residents Bruce McKinnon and Mike Hickman became well known to area residents. Under the very talented executive director, Ken Wales, it was filmed on the Ed Abbott farm in Townsend.
Despite the fact 42 million people watched the initial show on CBS and it remained popular, it was cut short. It was a true story about a minister’s daughter who gave up a well-to-do life to come to Cutter Gap in Cocke County to teach children.
Twelve years after the filming, in July 2006, more than 100 interested “Christy” fans were returning annually to Townsend, a get together which became known as Christy Fest.
CBS never gave a reason for ending the popular series. Some outside “experts” theorized that while it was not religious it involved faith and thus was not desirable for those purchasing advertising time which made it possible.
For additional details, see Vol. III of The Daily Times’ “Snapshots of Blount County History.” All six volumes are currently available at The Daily Times.
After 35 years, Voyager probes are beyond point of no return
Space is such a vast area and our nation is so heavily involved it is not practical for me to report on it in detail, but I will pass along bits of interest which I read and you may have missed. Some of the achievements seem almost unbelievable.
Ed Stone (no relation), heavily involved in the Voyager program since the early 1980s, says today the spacecraft should be nearly as pristine as the day they were launched.
The probes’ plasma wave detectors record only an occasional hit from space particles since they have passed through the ring planes of the outer planets.
Solar radiation is no problem. They were designed to withstand Jupiter’s high level of radiation. In the environment where the probes are now, the solar radiation is less than 1/10,000th what it is on earth, Air and Space magazine reports.
The probes are so far away, it takes almost 17 hours for the radio signals to reach Earth. Voyager’s 12-inch diameter gold-plated copper disk contains music, images and spoken word, along with a stylus to play it. Its creators believe it will remain playable for a billion years.
The Voyagers have reached escape velocity and can no longer return to Earth. About 2025 they will go quiet. Five years earlier scientists will begin turning off instruments to save signal power. Their source of power, plutonium 238, has a half-life of 88 years. Today, more than 35 years after they left Earth, the Voyager probes are 10 billion miles from home, moving beyond the influence of the sun.
After the power goes off they will continue their journey in interstellar space. What they will encounter there, scientists can only guess!
Another very interesting story in the March issue is that of pilot Bud Evans who relates details of the worst of his seven F-84F flights over staged nuclear explosions in the Pacific. It was a fiery event.
Dean Stone is editor of The Daily Times.